Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Iranian-Canadian Author of Living in Hell, and Founder of IranFuture.org
Hijri 1390-Present (AH); Common Era 1970-Present (CE)
Ghazal Omid is the founder of IranFuture.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to the liberation of Iran and education of women. Author of Living in Hell, a personal and political memoir of her life in and her eventual escape from the Islamic theocracy. Through her website, she remains active in Iranian politics and advocates for the humane treatment of political prisoners in Iran. Recognized as an Islamic and Iranian expert, she has made more than 200 radio and television appearances and is a frequent guest on Fox and Voice of America as well as Farsi language media outlets. She writes weekly blogs for UPI and Global Politician, maintains six websites and is active with dissident Iranian groups in Iran and abroad. Born in 1970 in Abadan, Iran, Ghazal is the youngest of eleven siblings born to her polygamist father's two wives, both of whom he abandoned during the revolution and the Iran/Iraq War. Ghazal lived through the conflict in a heavily bombed area in Isfahan and refugee camps in Bandar Abbas. Her faith, lost at age thirteen due to her difficult life, was restored by her pilgrimage to Mecca. Denied entrance to medical schools because of her record of non-conformity to non-Islamic dictates and her demand for equal rights for women and men, she studied French, preparatory to a law degree, at universities in Isfahan and Tehran. Abducted by the secret police, she escaped by jumping from a speeding car and made her way underground to Canada where she is now a citizen and continues work on a PhD in Psychology and eventually a law degree.